This is how Chat Extensions look in the latest Viber version.
Viber is one of the world’s leading messaging apps and a great alternative to other established messengers like Skype. The latest update to the app sees its Chat Extensions feature completely revamped, letting you access the services of YouTube, Spotify, Booking.com, VICE Media, GIPHY, Guggy, and Getty Images all within Viber, never having to leave a conversation.
The feature is gradually being rolled out on Android and iOS, starting today. The YouTube chat extension lets users search, share and even play YouTube videos without leaving their conversations. Spotify’s new chat extension allows access to your favorite music and to share it inside a chat. VICE is currently preparing its own extension for delivery of news, culture, food, fashion, music, sports, tech and other original content.
The Booking.com chat extension enables Viber users to browse hotel options and share them with their travel partners inside the chat, which is going to make coordination quiet a bit easier. And as for GIPHY, Guggy, and Getty Images, these websites and their extensions have a vast collection of images, both static and moving, ready to spice up any conversation in need of a little shake-up.
Viber and other messaging apps are collectively becoming another medium between you and... everything
Viber's Chat Extensions API is open to interested content and service providers, which will be able to build their own similar chat extensions. So, depending on how Viber handles its partnerships, there might be plenty more where these came from!
With this update, we think Viber has brought a very meaningful, practical improvement to the chat experience that won't end up unnoticed by users. The company's goal to eliminate the "agonizing back-and-forth" – as put by CEO Djamel Agaoua – between the chat and online content sources, such as websites or other apps, might just have been accomplished. After this step, Agaoua envisions Viber's future as "a platform that will house all services a user might need on a daily basis.”
While this sounds quite ambitious, it's not at all impossible – imagine your food delivery, grocery store, or anything else you regularly interact with having its own chat extension and being ready to go while you are chatting. It's not far from becoming a practical reality. Besides, most of the bigger messaging apps grow all the more "inclusive" with each major update, letting you do things you'd normally have to open a browser or another app for.
The chat extensions and bots we have now are a small glimpse of messengers' collective future, which will eventually involve ways to connect beyond chatting, video, and telecommunication.
TEL AVIV – JUNE, 2017 – Viber, one of the world’s leading messaging apps just announced the release of a complete revamp of Chat Extensions, its in-app content-sharing and consumption feature, originally launched in December 2016.The feature gives Viber’s more than 800 million users worldwide access to third-party content and services right from the chat window, creating a seamless experience that allows them to receive and share content important to them, while never once leaving their chat.
Starting today, directly in their private chat screen, users can find and share their favorite videos from YouTube, songs from Spotify, the perfect stay from Booking.com and soon compelling original content from VICE Media. . Alongside these providers, users can find other valuable content to enrich their conversations from GIPHY, Guggy and Getty Images.
One of the feature’s major highlights is the addition of the YouTube chat extension. YouTube videos are among the most popular form of link-sharing in Viber chats and now the world’s largest video platform is accessible right within the chat screen. Users can search, share and even play YouTube videos without leaving their conversations.
In addition to a frictionless video experience, Viber is bringing music discovery and shareability into the overall user journey within the messaging app. Spotify’s new chat extension on Viber allows users to access all of their favorite music and to share it in their chat in a single tap.
For the latest content spanning news, culture, food, fashion, music, sports, tech and more, Viber users don’t need to look any further than the VICE chat extension. The world’s leading youth media company will have a chat extension dedicated to bringing users original content at the tap of their finger. VICE excels in creating compelling, authentic content for every platform.
“Viber’s Chat Extensions platform is an exciting environment for VICE’s stories,” said Sterling Proffer, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Strategy & Development for VICE. “As we continue to aggressively grow our cross-platform distribution, it’s still context that matters most. The stories we tell are great additions to any conversation, and making that effort seamless to Viber’s 800 million users is a no-brainer.”
Users will also find that making travel plans while chatting doesn’t require visiting any other apps. With the Booking.com chat extension, users can browse and share hotel options with their travel partners within their chat until they’re ready to book.
Bryan Batista, Senior Director of Global Partnerships, Booking.com adds, “People plan their trips in many ways, including deliberating over accommodation choices with their social circle in messaging apps. Having a Booking.com chat extension on Viber is an intuitive compliment to our existing services—users can easily research listings and share in a way that enhances their conversations.”
Alongside these global partners, Viber is set to launch local services in Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Philippines and more. Based on its API, selected content and service providers will be able to build their own chat extensions and create new ways for users to enrich their chats.
“Our goal is to provide a chat experience that can’t be found on any other messaging platform. We want to give users an easy way to infuse content they care about in their conversations, without the agonizing back-and-forth of finding it in on the web or other apps” says Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Viber. “We identified the most important features that users want to see on the platform and focused exclusively on those at this stage. We’re excited to be the first major messaging app to offer an all-inclusive experience while keeping our platform simple, and user-friendly. This feature is just one of the ways we’re growing Viber to become a messaging app of the future, in line with our vision of becoming a platform that will house all services a user might need on a daily basis.”
Viber’s new Chat Extensions will roll out gradually, becoming available globally in the coming days. You can download Viber on Android and iOS.